Undergraduate global opportunities

UMSN undergraduate students in MexicoBSN curriculum

Population health in a global context minor

Learn more about the population health in a global context minor which provides opportunities for students to explore global health through a variety of courses and a required field experience. The getting started page discusses different options for field experiences.

UMSN courses

The undergraduate nursing curriculum includes two interdisciplinary elective courses on global health:  

NURS 420: Introduction to Global Health: Issues and Challenges

This 2-3 credit course, taught on campus, introduces global health concepts and the network of organizations working to advance health care internationally. 

NURS 421: Perspectives in Global Health

This 2-credit elective seminar, taught on campus in the winter term, has an optional 2-3 week faculty-led field extension for an additional 2 credits in:

  • New Delhi, India. Travel to India takes place in August. No foreign language proficiency required.

  • Khon Kaen, Thailand. No foreign language proficiency required. 

Find details on each program through MCompass. The N421 seminar is part of the global course connections program. It is open to all undergraduates with at least sophomore standing. For more information, contact Professor Megan Eagle.

There is an additional option for students to incorporate global health concepts into the required curriculum.

NURS 456: Community Health Nursing

This required core class, normally taken during fall or winter of senior year, offers opportunities for global and intercultural engagement in a subset of its clinical sections. 

Videoconferencing: Each semester, at least one section will use technology to engage in a joint project with students at one of U-M's international partner schools. These have included partners in Haiti (fall term), Botswana and India (winter term).

NURS 456: Community Health Nursing

Community Health Nursing offers a special option for clinical immersion in a global setting. Rising seniors can enroll in NURS 456 during the spring term, before their senior year, and fulfill some of the clinical requirement with the faculty-led field extension in New Delhi, India or the Caribbean nation of Grenada (see NURS 421, above), or Thailand (see NURS 421, above). This requires full-time enrollment in the spring term. For more information on the NURS 456 spring term section and the global immersion options, contact Professor Norma Sarkar.

NURS 477: Cultural Aspects of Health and Illness

This course focuses on the health attitudes, beliefs, and practices of patients and health care professionals of culturally diverse populations in the United States. Socioeconomic and political factors that influence health care delivery and health seeking behavior will be explicated. Emphasis will be placed on strategies to facilitate inter/intracultural communication and inter/intragroup dynamics in health care settings.

Global immersion opportunities

In addition to the N421/N456 global field immersion, UMSN offers the following undergraduate program:

Health Science 300: Spanish Language for Health Care Professionals (Oaxaca, Mexico) (6 credits)

  • 2 weeks seminar on U-M campus, followed by 4 weeks at Instituto Cultural Oaxaca

  • Weekly seminar on health and healthcare taught by UMSN faculty

  • Homestay with a local family

  • Volunteer placement at a local hospital or social service agency

  • Excursions to local hospitals, clinics, and cultural sites 

Eligibility: Undergraduates in good academic standing who will be returning to campus for the fall term. Students graduating in April or August are not eligible.

This program requires full-time enrollment in the spring term and payment of U-M tuition. An additional program fee covers costs for the four weeks in Oaxaca.  

Spanish proficiency requirement: 1 year of college level Spanish or the equivalent.

Other credit-bearing U-M opportunities

The U-M Center for Global and Intercultural Study (CGIS) provides centralized support for a variety of global engagement and learning opportunities for the University of Michigan community. Listed below are just a few of their many offerings that may be of specific interest to nursing students:

Additional U-M sponsored study abroad opportunities can be found by searching the M-Compass website.

Study abroad programs sponsored outside U-M

Some students opt to pursue summer study abroad programs on their own that are not sponsored by U-M but by another university or, in some cases, a third-party provider or a non-governmental agency. Courses taken through non-U-M programs may or may not count for credit or towards degree requirements. Please consult with an academic advisor for advice on transfer credit before enrolling in a non-U-M program.  

For guidance on selecting a non-U-M program, please visit U-M's International Center.

Research opportunities

Not all global experiences need to be connected with earning academic credit. Some UMSN professors routinely take students abroad with them to assist in research projects, an option that may be more flexible in terms of time commitment than study abroad programs.

Another research opportunity open to undergraduates is the U-M Center for Human Growth and Development: Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training program (MHIRT). These are three-month research positions with U-M faculty to international placements. Accepted students are awarded a monthly stipend, living expenses, round trip airfare to the placement site, and foreign and domestic expenses incurred while on the program. Undergraduate and graduate placements are available. Applicants must be African-American, Hispanic American, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, or Rural Appalachian.

Internships, work and service opportunities

Like research opportunities, internship and service (e.g. volunteer) engagements may be more flexible than study abroad. These opportunities are available through U-M affiliated units as well as through a number of other accredited colleges, universities and external organizations.

U-M internship programs

Michigan International Internship & Service program (MIISP) provides a year-long series of workshops that prepare undergraduates for summer internships or service projects abroad.

Residential College Spanish Language Internship program is an engaged learning course that is open to all undergraduate students and links Spanish-speaking students with community-based organizations to provide unique service learning opportunities in the Latino community.

LS&A International Internship program offers summer internship placements for returning undergraduates in a wide variety of locations and fields. 

U-M student organizations

U-M has a wealth of student organizations devoted to global health, many of which offer opportunities for volunteering and service learning abroad.  For information, see the Maize pages.

International career guidance

The U-M International Career Pathways network hosts events for undergraduates, graduating seniors and graduate students interested in working, interning or volunteering abroad or working in an international career.

The International Opportunities Fair provides students the opportunity to meet with and obtain information from organizations and recruiters from around the world.

See and hear more via YouTube

For those who would like to learn more about global opportunities from the voices of faculty and students, you are encouraged to visit the YouTube channel, MGoAbroad, sponsored by the U-M International Center. Whether you're thinking about an eventual international career or simply interested hearing student panels discuss their experience during a term abroad, these YouTube videos provide some insights from the voice of the global traveler.

More resources

The University Library system has a wealth of online global health resources and a dedicated professional staff to assist faculty and students.